Plant Leaves Curling and Folding

The curling of plant leaves cannot be ignored, as it may be the start of a leaf curl disease. You should take a look at how much water is your plant getting. Because both less water and excess water will cause the leaves to curl.

The ideal situation is to keep the soil as moist as needed by the respective plant because a lot of different types of plants require water in huge amounts and many plants don’t require lots of water. It depends, on various factors. In this article, we will discuss that why do plant leaves curl and fold? And how to solve this problem?

Why Do Plant Leaves Curl?

If you have various plants at your home, I’m sure you would always want to see them nourish and stay healthy. Because the look of these plant leaves is extraordinary, right?

As plants provide filtration for the air, it’s important the plant’s leaves, healthy. But why do these leaves curl up?

Most often, the reasons for leaves curling upside are bugs, deficiency or excessive water, poor watering schedule, wrong placement, deficiency of important nutrients, etc.

We will be going through them one by one.

1. Nutrient Deficiency:

You may or may not know that Nitrogen plays an important role in a plant’s health, as it helps the leaves with chlorophyll (a green color pigment) and for photosynthesis as well.

Simply put, nitrogen is an essential nutrient for leaves’ wellness, and the lacking of nitrogen will result in several problems for the leaf.

Due to an insufficient amount of nitrogen, the stored nitrogen found at the old or base leaves will be used to fulfill the demands of younger leaves. This will leave the old leaves with little to no nitrogen left, and due to that, those leaves will start curling.

If that is the situation, that your plant leaf changing its color to yellow followed by brown, it has limited days left. But it can be stopped. You see, when it’s the time of the year for fruiting, it is going to need lots of nitrogen, you can make a pretty good guess why.

You should provide the plant with some supplements of amino acids. As amino acid is responsible for creating the protein, by which they can absorb more required nitrogen.

2. Pests:

You should check that if the bugs are found in the core of the plant roots or not, if yes, try removing them ASAP, because those pests are usually suckers, and they suck up the nutrients from the inside, forcing leaves to curl up.

An insect is known as Whitefly, which is quite difficult to see on the leaves’ surface with the naked eye. They are often found at the bottom of the leaf, and they suck the leaf’s moisture.

Killing them first includes spraying of insecticides, if you don’t wanna do that, you can also use soap water. Keep repeating this process until all the pests are cleared.

Many people use various traps which stick the insects, once they sit on them. They do this for two reasons, At first, simply catch and clear the bugs, the other is to see that the number of pests getting caught, if the number is high, then there might be something wrong with the plant.

3. Stress:

It is true that plants like a taste of sun’s heat from time to time, but as I always say, “Excess of anything is bad“, ask yourself that don’t you need the heat, definitely yes, but plenty of it? No! Where’s the A.C?

The same thing happens with the plants and their leaves, a lot of heat forces the plant’s leaves to preserve the water strictly, by all means, due to fast evaporation.

So, to think that no worries, I water my plant daily, you are mistaken, because the rate of water intake and evaporation is more or less the same. That means that your regular watering is not much benefitting the plant.

You should change your plant’s location, in order for it to survive the heat. A place that is not near the window might be your best bet. If the problem still persists, then place your plant at the warmest point in that area, consider providing them with enough space.

4. Overwatering:

Overwatering, sometimes, is the reason that roots start to decay, and leaves start curling because of that. Only provide your plant with water when needed, not on your own wish.

After watering, let the upper part of the soil dry properly, and don’t forget to make holes for drainage at the bottom of the flowerpot, it is not a good thing if the plant soil remains soggy for a long time.

5. Underwatering:

You can imagine, how will underwatering affect plant leaves now, they need water nutrients for growth purposes, it is obvious. An insufficient amount of water will cause severe damage to the leaves.

Simply put, if you suck the life out of something, it contracts. Underwatering will do the same thing to the leaves in the face of curling. However, one can avoid this problem simply by providing the water in the required quantity, and not very much.

6. Light Conditions:

A lot of plants need lots of sunlight, but some don’t, especially the plants from humid climates, which prefer sunlight indirectly. Exposing them to direct and excessive sunlight will accelerate and increase photosynthesis.

The older leaves will start curling due to that, and also cause the new leaves to have browner tips, an indication of unhealthiness.

Types of Leaf Curl:

There are two types of leaf curls, Upward and Downward Curls.

Upward Curls: Due to deficiency or excessively provided water, pests, or light conditions.

Downward Curls: Caused by excessively provided water, the infestation of pests, or a deficiency of nitrogen.

How to Fix Curling and Folding Leaves?

This leaves-curling problem is fixed by different methods. Different problems have different solutions. We have discussed all the possible problems and their solutions separately.

Kindly, we, along with all the possible reasons for curling, have also told the things to avoid. Go up and see for yourself.

What Plants are known for Curling Leaves?

Lack of essential nutrients compels the leaves to start folding upward or downward. Peach Plants or Nectarine trees are those plants suffering from curl problems.

Almost all plants behave the same way, with the exception of a few. Most exposed to curl problems are some garden plants’ leaves.

Can you Physically Straighten Curling Leaves?

You can, but this will not matter much. Because this curl problem is an external issue, not an internal one. Even if you did straighten the folded leaves physically, the leaf can go back to curling again.

Having to use full hand force to straighten the plant leaves, it’s highly likely that they will tear apart but won’t get straight. Keep them healthy from the inside by providing all the essentials, and you are all good.


Leaves that start to curl and fold mean they have limited time now. You have to take some serious actions on this issue and you should do it quickly.

If you manage to restore the plant leaves’ health, this severe curling complication can be avoided. For that to happen, there are many solutions respective to their problem on the internet. Thank you.

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